Risk Markets And Politics

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Aloha, Poker Players Alliance

As more prediction market enthusiasts in the U.S. reconcile themselves with eventual CFTC regulation, the Poker Players Alliance is making a bid to join the ranks of the privileged exemptions to UIGEA. Prediction markets have simply not been profitable enough to support a national lobby for a similar exemption. The CFTC route is cheaper and less controversial, though more restrictive.

Is there is room in the PPA's tent for prediction market interests? Probably not, but it is worth looking into, especially since they are characterizing their request as a "skill game exemption".

If not, while I don't begrudge the PPA their relative progress, I would not be inclined to support their efforts to attain an exemption for the game. According to PPA President Michael Bocherek, "While we are working toward the short-term goal of a poker exemption, the PPA will also be laying the foundation for the eventual U.S. regulation of online poker. This is the only proven public policy for online gaming."

Perhaps they ought to keep to their long-term goals, as in the short-term, poker is a game of chance.

You could say that these opinions are divisive, but I would counter that it's up to the PPA to determine how specific their interests are. The more they act like a privilege-seeking special interest, the more my general libertarian support for all forms of legal gaming is trumped.

2 Comments:

  • Since Poker is, in fact, a game of skill ( this is the reason good players make a killing) their request seems entirely reasonable to me.

    By Anonymous Timothy Scriven, at 11:20 PM  

  • Players could do well by luck alone, so that doesn't necessarily show that it is a game of skill.

    Of course though it is a long-run game of skill.

    I just hope that within a couple of years prediction market advocates will begin to have a similar level of organization in the US. Would I bet on it though? Not too much.. For one thing, possible leaders are tied-up with other lucrative pursuits...

    By Blogger Jason Ruspini, at 12:10 PM  

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